W/C 4th November 2019

Monday 4th November

Today was the first proper day of Jays holiday, I have the dentist at 9am , Dembe had me up at 5.30am so there was no chance at all of me sleeping in. He really hasn’t got the hang of this clock change thing. I hope he gets better at it as he gets older otherwise he is only going to be getting up at the right time of the year 6 months at a time!

Dembe got a nice long walk before he took me to the dentist. HE and Dembe stayed outside whilst I went in for my appointment as it was just an in and out one. Jay said he was very whingey when I was gone. When I came back he was so excited, you’d think I had been missing for months not a few moments.

He is very happy that his whole pack is together all the time at the moment. He has spent the majority of the day moving between us on the sofa having cuddles. He was thrown first thing this morning with both of us up and dressed so early. Now we are all back home he is much more relaxed.

Apparently my role is to hold his antler whilst he chews it

Tuesday 5th November

This morning we were up early again as I have an appointment at the eye hospital at 8.45am. Due to the heavy traffic we will have to leave very early to ensure we get there on time. The drive is just 18 miles but it will be at peak rush hour.

Again Dembe is very unsettled. We took him with us. Jay dropped me at the hospital entrance as he can assemble the scooter for me and then let me make my way to the appointment . Jay then found a parking space and walked Dembe up to the hospital entrance. It gave Dembe some good environmentalisation training – loud noises, people, mobility equipment, sirens etc It is also good practice for lead walking and keeping Dembe focused on Jay. Whilst they waited at the Hospital entrance they were approached by lots of people who all asked if it was ok if Dembe got some attention. Jay said it was so nice as he could watch people who were obviously really worried or stressed out, clock Dembe and then start smiling. It is so lovely that our boy brings that out of people. Hospital can be a very shitty place for some people so if he made some people smile then that’s brilliant.

When I came out of the doors Dembe clocked me immediately but Jay didn’t. Some poor lady was asking Jay if she could give Dembe a cuddle but I knew she wasn’t going to get a look in now that I had arrived.

We popped over to see Lo and pick up Jays ring that she had mended and made a size smaller. Dembe was really well behaved again. On the way back we went to the petrol station to get some fuel. The lady behind the counter saw that Jay had a dog lead around his neck and gave him two dog biscuits to give Dembe. That was so lovely of her.

After Dembe’s afternoon walk we popped into Pets at Home and Dembe was rather enamoured with a cuddly toy sprout. So that came home with us.

He was obsessed with it and hasn’t left it alone all week.

Tonight was also our first night back at dog training, level 3 obedience. IT was just Dembe and another dog this evening. There will only be three of us on the course which is nice. The training session went really well even when there were crazy loud fireworks going off that made it sound like the barn was in the middle of a war zone. Dembe coped brilliantly with the fireworks going off.

Dembe was so tired he fell asleep in the car on the way home.

Wednesday 6th November

Jay got Dembe out for a nice long walk early this morning. Then before we set off down to see my parents ( and Jay to see his) he took Dembe for a walk around the block. It is a 60 minute drive so we didn’t want Dembe getting fractious because he wanted a wee half way through the journey.

Dembe was much better in the car today. Tuesday and Monday he had cried for the majority of the journey. Dembe settled as soon as we hit the motorway, he slept for the majority of the journey.

He was very excited when we got to my parents house, so we kept him on a lead to begin with . When he started to calm down we then just kept his car harness on him so we had an element of control. Then when he calmed down further I removed the harness. His mate Maggie was there so he wanted to play. However Dembe was struggling with my parents wood flooring, he was sliding all over the place so I had to ensure that he didn’t go running around after Maggie so that he didn’t injure himself. I had picked him up a Yak chew at Pets at Home yesterday so that kept him entertained when Maggie hadn’t stolen it.

He never settled down completely at my parents possibly because Jay had gone to see his parents. But he did calm down enough to lie across my lap. When Jay got back from his parents he gave Dembe a walk around the block so he could relieve himself before the journey home. Jay had to find some grass for him though as Dembe really doesn’t like going on tarmac.

He slept all the way home in the car, that is his antler chew in a rather suggestive position.

Thursday 7th November

Dembe went out with his daddy at 7am and had a good explore over at the model airfield. At least they managed to avoid the rain this morning.

We decided that today we would do some training going around a shop again so we paid a visit to The Range at around 11am. Before we left the house Jay walked Dembe around the block so that he had a wee and didn’t play up when he was working. It was the first time in ages we have been out to a shop. The last time was when we went to see our friend at Honiton. He was very well behaved. He walked beautifully and Jay kept him on task. It was good being able to hear Jay instruct Debe and talk him through what he was doing. I like hearing him praise Dembe. They work together brilliantly as a team.

It was a very different kind of shop for Dembe to work in, narrow aisles, lots of people. Lots of stands at the end of aisles etc. Not much room to manoeuvre my scooter and certainly no room for Dembe to misbehave in. He did us proud, he walked like an angel.

Dembe was shattered when he came back and I think it was combined tiredness from all of this week as it has been busy

Jay took him out for a walk at 3pm and he got lots of cuddles and adoration from a group of walkers today .

Friday 8th November

We were all shattered today after having such a busy week this week. It may not seem a lot to many of you but when you have a chronic health condition , lots of outings in a short space of time, with no real down time to recover after is draining. So we had a quiet day today.

I had to do some repairs today to crocodile

He had been injured during an enthusiastic game of tug of war. Thankfully it wasn’t much more than a 5 minute job. My work was closely observed by Dembe.

Dembe just wanted cuddles all day

It didn’t change when I went to bed and was watching the TV in bed. Dembe slept with his head on my stomach

Saturday 9th November

This morning Jay decided to take Dembe down the beach, it was quite early and the sun was just rising.

Dembe had his very first go in the sea today

Jay videoed it for me as I was still in bed when they left for their walk.

In the evening we had friends over for our very first Strictly Come dancing evening! Dembe loved having all the attention and brought out sprout, crocodile and carrot to show everyone.

Sunday 10th November

Jay took Dembe to the beach again this morning and he had a proper swim and a play with a grown up yellow Labrador called Roxy.

At 12.30 we had our very first Agility Training for Fun session run by the same team that do the Obedience training – Happy Dogs who I can’t recommend highly enough. Dembe was squealing in the car after his quick run around on the common when he worked out that he was going to the training centre.

At first everyone just got used to all the training equipment out in the room and the new dogs . Then they started on very little jumps. Which Dembe aced and really enjoyed.

Then after doing a few circuits of this Dembe got to go in the tunnel

Dembe absolutely loved the class.

When he came home he was shattered. The only time he has moved is to change sofas

W/C 28th October 2019

Monday 28th October

For the 1st time in ages Jay was on an early today. Dembe was quite tired this morning after his jaunt to Haldon Forest yesterday. He slept away the morning on my bed. Only waking up around 10 minutes before Jay got back home for lunch.

He was equally as tired in the afternoon, sleeping on my lap but sprung back to life when Sam and Sarah popped in for a visit. Dembe was very gentle with Sam but he was incredibly over excited . I had to practice calm giving to take his energy levels down a notch . With Jay being early he hadn’t had a walk and was now more than ready for one. He is still limited to an hour a day of walking.

Dembe had destroyed the squeak in his bear toy, so I took it out of the toy and showed him. This freaked him out as you can see from the video above.

He kept bringing his tennis ball over to Sam to be thrown for him. He also got his carrot out and his crocodile. Both were being thrown around the lounge which made me and Sarah laugh.

He was shattered after seeing Sarah and Sam and fell asleep at my feet!

Dembe has started a bad habit this week of just randomly barking. It is really annoying. He is also barking at fireworks. He seems a little unsettled so we will be trying to work out what is going on.

Tuesday 29th October

Jay is day off today so Dembe has had a nice long walk this morning. It still seems really strange that we won’t be going to dog training this evening as our course has finished.

At midday we popped over to see our friend Lo at her work place. She is a really lovely lady and I have written about her before, she stopped traffic one time when she stopped her car on the main road so she could have a look at Dembe when he was a tiny pup. She hadn’t seen him since then other than on my facebook and instagram feed so it was lovely to see her. She is always so funny and easy to chat to. Dembe was good apart from a couple of barks.

After we saw Lo, Jay decided to take Dembe out for a walk. The weather has been rough today high winds and quite cold, there was rain forecast for later, so to avoid being drowned rats he took him out. Dembe wasn’t enjoying the high wind at all and was only too happy to get back to the car.

We had a very quiet rest of the day, my health hasn’t been great. I seem to be stuck in a cycle of migraines and vertigo currently.

Wednesday 30th October

Dembe is very cuddly today and on several occasions has tried to crawl onto my lap whilst I was sat at the embroidery machine. I took advantage of long stitch outs and used them to go and play / cuddle Dembe. He wanted lots of attention and I was more than happy to give it.

I gave him the cardboard tube from one of my embroidery stabilisers to destroy whilst I finished up. He enjoyed that.

Dembe hates it when Jay doesn’t finish at 5pm it really throws him out. Between 5pm & 6pm he cried continually. I put his new coat on him so he was ready for his walk when Jay got in. I also got one of the Weims old collar lights out as now the clocks have changed it is pitch black most of the time when Jay finishes work and takes Dembe up. The weather is absolutely awful this evening, windy and exceptionally heavy rain.

The weather was so bad that Dembe had a poo and wee, then turned tail and ran back to the car. Jay had to run along behind him with the torch bouncing all over the place.

The coat worked brilliantly and reduced how muddy he was.

Dembe sat on my lap earlier.

Thursday 31st October

I had to let Dembe out for a wee at 4.30am. He refused to go outside before bedtime due to the weather. He woke me up by nibbling my fingers. He had obviously tried everything else but it hadn’t worked. He did stay asleep until gone 6.25am which was a bloody miracle and the longest he has slept to since the clocks changed.

I keep forgetting to say that he has developed a taste for manuka honey. I use manuka honey on my face last thing at night to get rid of the scarring and spots that have appeared since hitting the menopause. Up until a few days ago he hadn’t taken any notice of this gunk on my face at bed time. Now he pins me down and licks my face clean! It makes me laugh so much as he really goes mental ensuring he has got every little bit off.

As Jay was on a late night he took him for a long walk so he was adequately worn out for the day.

They managed to avoid the worst of the weather thankfully and Dembe kept nice and dry. Someone asked me how we kept his coat so clean as their Labrador rolls in the mud and dives in puddles. I think our Labrador is either broken or is just biding his time as he just doesn’t do this. We have been waiting for it and expecting it.

He has started crying when Jay leaves the house, even when he knows he is going to work. Silly bugger. I have to spend a while giving him a cuddle so that he stops. Not that he is spoilt.

As my parents were popping in to see me today I got dads card out and put it on the coffee table. I left the room for 30 seconds and came back in to find Dembe sat chewing the card and ripping the envelope open. He has a bit of an obsession with paper and cardboard. He never steals whole magazines it is always just a single piece of paper like a post it note or a card. To be fair this is the only thing he has destroyed so I know we have got off lightly.

Dembe always struggles when my parents arrive as he wants to play with Maggie, my parents dog and she never wants to play when in the house. So he gets very frustrated. I ended up putting him on his lead so he left her alone and I could attempt to control the barking. He was shattered when they left.

He loves lying on my lap and when it is just me and him or me, him and Jay he will spend ages either having a cuddle on my lap or asleep on it. He also does some really weird sleeping positions.

His back end is on the sofa and my lap, his front is draped over the footstool. He stayed like this for ages… nutter.

I managed to keep him relatively quiet all evening with the Trick or Treaters. We put a poster on the door asking them not to call as I don’t have the energy to be getting up and down to the door all night. I have lost count of how many times Jay has been late night on Halloween.

Friday 1st November

It’s my birthday!

Jay is on an early shift today so he took Dembe out for an early walk. When he got back from his walk Dembe was really surprised to see me downstairs. Jay is working the next few days and out Saturday night so I am barely going to see him. So I dragged myself from my pit. Dembe’s tail was going so fast I thought it would fall off.

We went back to bed at 5.30am as Jay was getting ready to go to work. We managed to get back to sleep and stay there until 7.30am which was lovely!

Dembe and I had some nice cuddles whilst I came around. It can take me several hours first thing in the morning to get to a place where I can move around safely. Dembe seems to know this he will sleep on my lap until 9-9.30am. He is a very special boy.

Jay popped back for lunch and Dembe was thrilled to see him. I swear if Jay left the house for 5 minutes he would get the same greeting from Dembe as if he hadn’t seen him in 24 hours!

In the afternoon my friend Heather popped over to see me. Dembe always enjoys seeing Heather and was climbing all over her and demanding toys get thrown for him.

Earlier in the day all 3 of us got a shout out from our favourite TV channel Sewing Quarter

My boys bought me a wool pressing mat and a book on crochet as I would like to teach myself how to crochet over the next 12 months.

Saturday 2nd November

Jamie’s birthday today….yes our birthdays are on consecutive days. He is younger thn me by a matter of hours.

I dragged myself out of bed as due to Jays boss leaving the company today they were having a meal this evening to celebrate his retirement. He was also working today so we were barely going to see each other. Dembe was very pleased to have us all together.

Like we did yesterday Dembe and I went back to bed. There was a storm raging outside, the wind was crazy and this unsettled Dembe a little. So he barked a few times. I reassured him all was ok and we managed to get back to sleep. We slept until around 7am which was good. I was fully expecting the garden fences to be trashed but they were still standing…for now

This afternoon I decided to try my hand at Crochet for the first time. Dembe decided he was part cat and had to be dissuaded from stealing the ball of wool and running away with it.

Jay took Dembe out for a walk and then when we got home he went and got ready. Leaving the house in less than an hour after being home. So it was just me and my baby. We had a cuddle and then went up to bed early. Dembe was brilliant and settled immediately.

Sunday 3rd November

It’s a quiet day today here as Jay has a hangover, I had an awful nights sleep so look like I have a hangover despite only having 2 drinks last night. Dembe is just very happy that we are all together. It’s the first day since Tuesday that we have spent more than just a few hours together.

Jay is on holiday this coming week so we are hoping to get out and about a little. Plus Dembe’s training starts back on Tuesday evening and then his agility training starts on Sunday next week.

W/C 21st October 2019

Monday 21st October

Weird day today as Jay was on stock take, so he was up at 2.30am to be in work by 4am. Due to this Dembe didn’t get a walk until Jay got home from work until Jay got home just after 1pm. Dembe was very good, he did get up with Jay but went to sleep on the sofa by the window. He has got used to me getting up with insomnia, so he knows to be quiet and just go to sleep. When Jay left for work Dembe came back up to bed with me and we then didn’t wake up until gone 7.30am which was amazing!

The morning whizzed by and before we knew it Jay was back from work. We took Dembe straight out, which was just as well as he was bouncing off the walls by then. Dembe had a play with several dogs up on the common which meant he burnt off more energy than normal.

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing with Jay fighting the urge to go to sleep. He was feeling really cold because he was so tired and Dembe kept stealing his dressing gown belt.

Tuesday 22nd October

Jay was off today , so he and Dembe went for a nice walk up the common first thing. Dembe is eating so much better now that he has his new bowl, he comes back from his walks starving hungry and demanding to be fed. At 3.45pm each day he comes and finds me to let me know he wants his dinner. It makes me laugh as before we had to wake him up for his meals as he really wasn’t that bothered.

Dembe was shattered after his long walk this morning so he crashed on the sofa beside me whilst we caught up on the previous evenings The Walking Dead.

I managed to get some sewing done in the afternoon . Dembe wasn’t too happy about this despite the fact his daddy was home. So he went out into the garden with his carrot and lay down staring at me!

We went out for Dembe’s afternoon walk at around 3pm. As my parents were at the caravan we dropped in to them on the way back. Maggie wasn’t up for playing she wanted to eat the dog treats I had brought with me. Dembe had a great time though as there was practically no one on that part of the site he played fetch with my dad and Jamie. He loves running after the ball.

He was worn out after playing at the caravan park and went to sleep on the 10 minute drive home.

Wednesday 23rd October

Dembe was shattered all day after all the fun at the caravan. He was very cuddly in the morning when I first came downstairs and lay across my lap refusing to move and let me get up.

Dembe was a bit barky today after it being quiet here for weeks during the gay time the kids are now on half term and he can hear them out in the street. So every so often he is barking when they get too loud for him.

We changed the net curtain today in the lounge so immediately Dembe had to check it out!

He was back at the window doing his duty for neighbourhood watch.

Dembe was so excited today when his daddy came home for lunch . He jumped on Jay and smothered him with kisses. He then brought him his carrot (toy), he always likes to bring Jay a toy when he comes home at lunch time! When Jay went back to work Dembe watched from the window.

Dembe put himself to bed in the afternoon whilst I did a bit of sewing. He reminds me so much of our first dog Travis who would go to bed when Jay and I were at work. As we went out the front door Travis would be climbing the stairs!

As it was raining this evening Dembe worse his new waxed jacket for the first time. He looks lovely in it and it kept him nice and dry.

Thursday 24th October

Dembe allowed me to have a lie on this morning and didn’t wake up until 7am. After I got up he went into Jays room and woke him up by dropping his antler chew on Jay’s head. So Dembe was really popular for a while!

Jay took him out for a huge walk as he was late night. When they got back Dembe ignored me and went straight into the kitchen demanding his breakfast, what a difference from a few weeks ago where we had to practically beg him to eat at every meal.

We had a really quiet day Thursday with lots of cuddles.

Friday 25th October

Dembe spent quite a bit of today lying on my lap. That seems to be his favourite thing to do when it is just the two of us.

I had to get some sewing done so Dembe took himself upstairs as soon as he worked out I was getting ready to start. He stayed up there until Jay got home for lunch. He was really dopey and cuddly still when Jay got through the door.

Dembe went back up to bed after Jay went back to work as I just wanted to finish off the project I had been working on. He wandered back into the kitchen at 3.30pm which meant he knew it was nearly time for his dinner. As it was Friday it was Mackerel day, as I was getting his dinner ready he was spinning around in circles with excitement.

After his dinner we sat on the sofa and had cuddles until Jay got home.

The weather was really horrible we have had a yellow weather warning for wind and rain today. It hasn’t stopped. So Dembe had his coat on again today for his walk.

Saturday 26th October

We had a lazy day today me and Dembe. Jay was on an early, so Dembe came back to bed and we didn’t get up until 6.40am. Of course tomorrow will mark Dembe’s first proper clock change – fall back. We are expecting him to wake us up at silly o’clock. I think he is going to be early!

My friend Angie came over in the afternoon. Considering Dembe hadn’t had a walk this morning he didn’t go as mental as he can sometimes although he wanted Angie to throw his ball for him continually.

I found out today that Dembe is terrified of a dowel rod. I think earlier in the week it was in my room and he knocked it, so he is now convinced it moves on its own. Yesterday I used the dowel to hang an item from to see how it would look. Earlier today I put it on the stairs to remind me to take it back up with me. An hour or so later Dembe was barking the place down. He was barking at the dowel rod. I took it upstairs and put it just inside my bedroom door. A few hours later he was barking upstairs. I checked on him and he was barking at the dowel. When I picked it up he couldn’t get away from it quickly enough he was absolutely terrified of it. He literally ran across the room. So I have now placed it on top of my wardrobe out of sight. I have never seen him so scared of anything in my life silly bugger.

I was trying to get some decent photographs of Dembe and Jay as they came back to the car after their walk, I failed!

We had some very loud fireworks here this evening. Dembe barked at them. We managed to get him to settle down. He doesn’t seem to be as frightened of them as the Weimaraners were. So fingers crossed that continues.

Sunday 27th October

Dembe didn’t get the memo about the clocks changing this morning, he had us all up at 5.30am!

He had his breakfast and then Jay took him out for a walk. He then came home, lay across my lap and slept like this for 30-40 minutes. The whole time Jay and I were trying to find some match sticks for our eyes as we were just so bloody tired!

On the spur of the moment we decided that we would go and explore Haldon Forestry park as I had seen on a disability website that it had good access for scooters and wheelchairs. We decided this at 8.30am and we were at Haldon for 9.20am. Dembe absolutely adored it and was going crazy with all the sights and new smells.

All Dembe has done is sleep ever since we got back. He slept all the way home too!

W/C 14th October 2019

Monday 14th October

I got woken up at 6.30am by having Dembe drop his new yellow tyre toy on my head. Not the best way to come around on a Monday morning. He is utterly obsessed with his new tyre toy and is taking it with him everywhere. I always get woken up by being brought a toy but usually he is carrying it in his mouth and its a soft toy like carrot so it doesn’t hurt if it is dropped on you!

Dembe destroyed a toy today for the very first time. It was a bit of a shock as we have made it to almost 11 months old without any deliberate toy destruction. It is a bit sad as he picked on one of the two pigs that I made Jamie last year. He started last week by chewing both piggies tails off. I thought it would stop there but he continued I looked up only to see him surrounded by a sea of white stuffing. Oh well. Piggie got put in the bin.

Today has been a tough day for emotionally, some decisions needed to be made and although they are ultimately for the good of my mental health and sense of worth, these are decisions that I weigh up for weeks before hand, they never come easily to me. Dembe seemed to sense my pain and crawled up onto my lap at every opportunity he could. Just lying on me letting me know that he was there for me. His ability to be in tune with me is scary sometimes. I worry about the burden that is placed on him but he seems to love his role as my protector. It is a shame humans aren’t more like dogs, at least they are honest with their feelings / likes and dislikes. They have pure motives and emotions.

Tuesday 15th October

Jay was day off today.

We took Dembe to the vets again to be weighed. Jay and I were so sure after his week of being on a diet he was looking better – it wasn’t a little diet this was quite extreme, cutting out 90% of his treats and cutting his food portion down. We felt that he was showing more signs of a waist and his ribs were becoming easier to feel.

He had put on 200g, I won’t lie I was devastated. We were working so hard to get this under control I couldn’t for the life of me work out how the F**k he had gained weight. Even Jay had lost more weight than usual this week as he had been doing so much more walking with Dembe. For him to gain made me worry that there was a medical reason behind his weight gain.

The vet nurse was very nice but it still felt like I was being lectured and that I was a shit dog owner. I don’t think the staff even think about what a contentious issue weight maybe for the owner. I have been bullied all my life over my weight, its the go to thing people use to upset me and always has been. Even though as a kid I was tall for my age and was no way overweight. So hearing them discuss Dembe’s weight like he was morbidly obese really punched my buttons. He did get them back though by pissing all over the floor and in the waiting room. Unfortunately that added to my feelings of inadequacy as we should have chucked him out in the garden before we went as he hasn’t pee’d inside for about 6-7 months, He must have been desperate to do that. Although to be fair it was his Auntie Mollie’s favourite thing to do, piss in the vets waiting room.

I also object to this being made such a humungous issue when 800g ago it wasn’t a problem. It’s not like he needs to lose 10 kg, he could probably do with losing 2-3kg. But they were quite happy with his weight at 32kg but 800g over… I was told that if I gave him any treats I was to take that out of his food allowance for the day. The problem is that Arden Grange don’t tell you what his foods calorie content is, so if he has one small frozen carrot I have no idea how much of his food should be removed from his total for the day. They had a poster in the consulting room stating that 100g of carrots is 30 calories. Yet if I fed Dembe 100g of carrots (4oz) he would be shitting through the eye of a needle. God knows what would happen if you gave that amount to a yorkshire terrier. These things are relative. Dembe has one small carrot not a sackful and I won’t feel guilty about giving him a carrot when he would normally have a denta stix.

So the vet visit upset me all day when normally we enjoy our visits down there. So I wont be going again for a while. Jay will weigh Dembe by picking him up and weighing on our home scales. He doesn’t need to go down for at least a month as we will need to check his weight for his worming tablets.

The day ended much better at dog training. We let Martin know that changing Dembe from a metal bowl to a ceramic bowl had solved 90% of his eating issues. Adding in the small portion of adult Arden Grange food had tipped it over to 100% successful along with also changing his meals to breakfast 65% of his daily amount and dinner 35%. He had a good look at Dembe and said what a difference in a week and that his waist was coming back, he was getting the tuck of his tummy back and more definition on his flanks. He couldn’t quite believe the poster about the carrots. Most people when putting their dogs on a diet would give carrots as a treat, to single them out as if they are a bad food seems a little strange, in my opinion.

We discussed the 200g weight gain and Martin said ignore it, Dembe could have been a bit bloated. He said to just keep doing what we are doing as it is obviously working by looking at Dembe. Dembe is already starting to look leaner.

At the end of the session, our last one for this course, Martin let all the dogs try going through the tunnel which is part of the agility training course. Dembe was terrified the first time he got led up to the tunnel and bolted back to me. However with me at the other end of the tunnel with Jay he couldn’t wait to try it out and his third go was even more successful he was so proud of himself. All the dogs that had a go loved it.

We have signed him up for a short agility training course on a Sunday from 10th November and we will be attending the new obedience training course when that starts on the 12th.

Wednesday 16th October

Can you believe it little Dembe Morris is 11 months old today. That has just flown by. Today Dembe surprised his dad when they were up the common by being brave and going for his very first swim

I am afraid it is a poor quality photo as Jay thought he had videoed it for me but alas he hadn’t. There was around a second of usable material so I managed to take this screenshot.

Up until today Dembe has never swum, when he was little and we took him to the beach he would run away from the tide coming in. But he has always loved the hosepipe and the shower, along with his paddling pool in the summer. Today with a little coaxing he had a swim, Jay said he was really good swimming in the proper position rather than trying to sit up in the water he was flat. I am gutted I wasn’t there and there isn’t any video.

Jay was on late night today so when Dembe was taken out it was for a nice long walk and well swim. We had to hose him off in the garden when he got back as he was covered in sand and mud. He is so good though and allows us to clean him off.

He was pretty shattered after his adventure this morning.

As it was dry this evening I threw the ball in the garden for him to use up some of his energy before I went to bed. Dembe decided to stay downstairs and wait for his dad.

Thursday 16th October

Dembe has been an incredibly cuddly and affectionate dog this week. He knows that I am feeling battered and bruised. He gets on my lap several times a day and just lies there until he either goes to sleep or he decides to go and get a toy.

Friday 18th October

I was waiting for ages for Dembe to settle down this morning so that I could crack on with what I wanted to do. He wanted to play, to be cuddled and then all of a sudden he ran over to his toy box picked up his carrot and gave it to me. Once I had his carrot he ran upstairs and went to sleep on my bed. He does this most mornings if I am on my sewing machine or embroidery machine. I would normally feel guilty that he has taken himself off to bed. No more though if he is going to go up there anyway even when I am not on my machines. It made me laugh that he gave me carrot to look after whilst he slept!

Again this afternoon all he wanted to do was lie on my lap. I was quite grateful that he was looking after me as I had such a terrible headache in the afternoon. It took me a while to work it out but I was having a low CSF headache. I suffered a spontaneous leak in 2016 and know the signs. My headache only went when I lay down for an hour, the minute I stood up it came back. Maybe that is what Dembe could sense yesterday and that is why he was stuck to me like glue?

Saturday 19th October

We had another cuddly day today. Jay was late so Dembe got taken on a long walk this morning so that he would be ok with only going out once today. Jay took him to the place where he had a swim on Wednesday and he had another swim.

I was so pleased to see it as this was the first time I have seen our boy swim and he took to it like a duck to water pardon the pun. He had Dembe in and out a few times .

Dembe having a swim

A friend popped over in the afternoon, we haven’t seen her in a while and she couldn’t get over how big he has got. I had to do two emergency surgeries on Dembe’s crocodile toys whilst she was here as there was a danger of him pulling out the stuffing. Both had seams rip due to playing. So I tend to do repairs as I see they need done rather than leave them.

We had a quiet rest of the day cuddling and playing.

Sunday 20th October

Dembe’s new food bowl arrived ysterday but his breakfast after his walk this morning was his first time having a meal out of it. Up until now we have been using a pasta bowl. I am so pleased that he seems to love his new bowl as much as we do.

He was so pleased after he had his meal we were laughing our heads off at his crazy waggy bum!

We have all had a lazy day as Jay is in work at 4am tomorrow which means he will be getting up at 2.30am. So we have kept everything very chilled out. Dembe just loves having his mum and dad at home with him. Although I don’t get my usual amount of cuddles with him.

W/C 9th September 2019

Monday 9th September

Today Dembe and I were totally shattered after our busy Sunday. He spent a lot of the day sleeping and I spent a lot of the day being jealous of the fact he was! I felt barely human until gone 2pm.

Dembe had quick bursts of energy during the day which mainly consisted of emptying his toy box all over the lounge floor. He is loving his new antler chews which Jay bought him yesterday and the bear that Julie & Nigel gave him.

Tuesday 10th September

Jay had the day off work today so at around 10.30am we took Dembe to the vets to be weighed. He now weighs 32kg and is 23 inches at the shoulder. The vet staff said he was ok as he has a waist but we need to be careful from now that he doesn’t get overweight. The thing is if anything he is having less of everything he was having before so it was a bit of a shock to find out he now weighed 32kg. Which was the same weight as Willow our Weimaraner who passed in 2017.

We went up to Tesco after the vets to do some more socialisation and environmental training with him. We only popped in for 3 items but it took us 40 minutes to get around such is the size of the Dembe fan club. He got so much love from the staff and customers, who were all brilliant at asking for petting him.

This afternoon we cut his stupidly long dew claw. We had to wait until he was asleep and then practically pin him down as he hates his nails being cut. We have done it regularly since he came home with us but for some reason he has decided the nail cutters are the work of the devil! This was the glare I got afterwards.

Tonight was our first night back at dog training after the summer break. It was good to get back to it. Dembe was good apart from the barking trying to get a Giant Schnauzers attention all evening. He tried to get Suki’s attention all night with a variety of vocal techniques. Thankfully when doing the exercises he was quiet! He did some work with the trainer and refused a biscuit when the trainer offered it to him. Probably because he knew there was better on offer. He was then given a bit of dried liver, which he chewed. To be fair Dembe has always chewed his food but it surprised the trainer who joked he was the first Labrador he had met that chews his food!

Dembe does get bored easily and when he does he lays on the floor refusing to move. Jay now starts dancing in front of him to get him moving as it is something different. Dembe always jumps right up!

Jay is becoming so much more confident training Dembe, the bond between them is just deepening through this which I love. I get to spend every day all day with Dembe so its important Jay has some Dembe love too.

Wednesday 11th September

Dembe and I were both shattered after Tuesday. We had a really lazy day with lots and lots of cuddles on the sofa.

I had spoken to the trainer last night about a few issues I was having with Dembe – grooming being one, he has always hated this from being a puppy. At 8 weeks old a brush on his fur would send him into attack mode. His baby brush is covered in teeth marks. So as advised by the trainer today I started the first of his daily grooming sessions. It went very well, by the end of it I think I may have convinced Dembe that this is a nice thing to do. There was a lot of bribery involved and treats given but my goodness what a lot of hair came off him.

A friend popped over with my raffle prize today. Dembe disgraced himself by lifting up her skirt and then shoving his nose in her crotch. I wanted to die. It is the first time he has done that to anyone and no one was expecting it. This was what Frankie used to do to all my female friends and I would always knew who had their period because his nose wouldn’t leave their crotch the whole time they were here. Thankfully everyone laughed it off as just Frankies thing, some probably actively avoided us that week! I have no clue why Dembe did this but he has also just done this to my mum ( who popped over on Saturday morning). Maybe another thing to speak to the trainer about.

He loves walking around with his antler chew in his mouth looking like a pipe.

Dembe has started being picky with his food. It is taking him an hour to eat his evening meals. There is nothing wrong with him as he is eating treats etc fine and he will sit and beg at the fridge whilst he is supposed to be eating his dinner. In fact he has slowed down so much with his eating that we have switched back to a normal bowl rather than his slow feeder.

Thursday 12th September

Dembe and I are still bloody shattered. I have no clue what is up with us this week. All we both want to do is sleep. Jay is on an early and left the house just after 6am. The next thing I knew it was 8.20am and we were both only just waking up. I could have slept for hours but my back was sore and I had to take my morning meds.

I groomed Dembe again this morning and got even more off him. He sat for me better today and I didn’t have to chase him around the lounge, which is always a bonus!

At lunchtime Jay came home and because the weather was dry we sat outside for a bit and we played ball for a bit with Dembe.

He slept loads this afternoon whilst I did some sewing. I did wonder how on earth I would get to do anything when he first came home with us. He had to be watched like a hawk and always had to be as close to me as possible. Now however he will happily take himself upstairs and sleep on Jays or my bed . He will also sleep in the lounge and ensure he can see me by always being in my eyeline.

He decided to play silly buggers again with his dinner. He sat and begged at the fridge, we left his food down until he finished it and he got nothing extra until his plate was clear. He is just trying it on at the moment.

Friday 13th September

Dembe was an utter pain in the arse overnight, constantly moving around on and off the bed. He went into Jays room at 1.30am after Jay had taken him outside in case he wanted the toilet but all he did was lie down on the grass. He spent the majority of the night with Jay after that. Thankfully we all got some sleep then.

He didn’t wake up for breakfast until 6.30am but again he messed about for well over an hour eating it. He kept walking away from his bowl, begging for food or getting toys out of the toy box.

As Jay was on a late night he took him for a nice long walk up the common this morning. He came back absolutely shattered – shit nights sleep perhaps? He went straight to sleep for a few hours.

My friend Sandra popped over at Midday. Dembe greeted her like an old friend and showed none of the nervousness or fear that he did last week. In fact he covered her in kisses he was that pleased to see her. Sandra stayed for an hour or so and Dembe just wanted her attention the whole time.

Dembe was very good again whilst I did a little bit of sewing. He is such a cuddly boy today. I don’t remember a day where i have been kissed as much by him.

He ate his dinner fine tonight as there was the addition of a tin of sardines in tomato sauce mixed in. He is a cheeky fecker.

Saturday 14th September

Mum and dad popped over this morning as Jay is working 10-7 today so we will both be too knackered to go to the van tonight. Maggie was hilarious running into the house picking up Dembe’s duck and then trying to run back out of the house with it. Dembe as usual got over excited so I had to have him on the lead for a bit as he wanted to do zoomies in the house which I won’t allow as there are too many things he could bang into and injure himself on.

He was shattered after their visit and barely mustered a bark when his dad came home for lunch. As it was nice we sat outside for part of Jays break.

Dembe was really crazy by the time Jay got home from work despite having a walk in the morning. On his walk this morning he was playing with a German Shepherd, his owner asked Jay if his name was from the TV show The Blacklist. When Jay confirmed it was he said ” that is so F**king Cool”. So Jay and I had a proud parent moment as our furry kid has a cool name LOL

Sunday 15th September

Dembe woke up at 6am for his breakfast, he was still a little toad about eating his food. He ate half of it then left it for 90 minutes until after he got back from his walk and was ravenous! He polished it off in one go then.

We promised our friend Becky that we would go to Tesco Honiton today to see her as she was working. She really wanted to meet Dembe. We had a nightmare journey with Google maps taking us on a journey of epic proportions. It was utterly ridiculous as we found ourselves being taken through Ottery St Mary. In all the years I have driven to Honiton ( obviously not the last 6 years as I have had no licence!) I have never ended up going through Ottery St Mary! We totally ignored Google maps on the way home and went the way we knew.

We got to Tesco at around 11am and it was very quiet, which was great for us as obviously this was a new environment for Dembe and he wouldn’t have his usual fan club like he does when we go to his normal branch.

He wasn’t perfect but as he didn’t do a dump in the aisle I will take it as a win. His behaviour was good it is just we have really high expectations forgetting that he isn’t even 10 months old until tomorrow and everyone has off days. His main issue today was continually climbing up onto my lap , well when I say continually it was only about 4 times and I eventually managed to get him to stop.

He was so knackered he slept all the way home and has barely moved since! Quiet day ha ha ha!

Week Commencing 2nd September 2019

Monday 2nd September

Dembe woke us up with a start at 1.55am starting to vomit whilst stood on the bed. He is unfortunately a wanderer when puking and he managed to puke in the upstairs hallway. I managed to get that cleared up and went back to bed only to be woken up again at 2.05am with Dembe smacking his lips and drooling. I tried to get a towel under him but he moved away so I ended up letting him puke into my cupped hands, which would have been fab had he not immediately puked again half way down the stairs and once more in the lounge.

I sat up with him until 2.30am to ensure the puke party had finished, which it had. Typical Labrador though as he went straight to the fridge where he sat and begged for cocktail sausages. Thankfully he did go to bed and settle down straight away.

The good news is he has been vomit free since early this morning. He has been ravenous all day and being doing the most horrendous farts smelly and loud! One was so bad I thought he’d had the shits in the lounge.

He has been a very cuddly boy all day. He has stopped lying on the window ledge as twice last week he got himself caught up in the net curtain and manged to bring the pole down on top of himself. He then ran across the lounge with the curtain over his head and twisted over his body ( twice) so that seems to have put him off for the minute.

He was so excited for his dad coming home tonight that he leapt from one sofa to another without his feet touching the ground.

Tuesday 3rd September

Dembe woke up at 5.30am only because I was up for a wee. Jay got up and gave him his breakfast. He was ( Dembe) a bit of a pain in the arse when he came back up to bed , eventually I gave up at 6.30am and got up.

Jay was already up, so he took Dembe out to the Model Airfield where they met a Vizla , a little girl. They were both up for having a play but unfortunately her owner was in a rush so they didn’t get to play chase. He was so excited when he got back from his walk he draped himself around my neck like a scarf. He looked like he was smiling, Jay and I were in stitches at his antics.

I had physiotherapy at 11.45am so whilst I was there Jay took Dembe over to Four Firs Cross. He met up with an Airedale Terrier called Gary. Gary’s favourite game was also chase so Dembe couldn’t believe his luck. They ran each other ragged. When I got out of Physio Dembe and Jay were in the waiting room. The last time Dembe had been in the waiting room Jay had to take him out as he had whined continuously. This time he was panting but Jay got him to lie down which he did – and no whining. I had no clue they were there

He has been shattered all day after two early walks.

We gave him his weekly treat of Sardines with his dinner as he had burnt off so much energy today.

Wednesday 4th September

Dembe had his first experience of a moth today. As he was eating his breakfast in the kitchen one flew in. He was fascinated , Jay said it was just like Mollie was with moths . He was chasing it all over the kitchen. So Jay had to catch it and release it outside.

We had a very lazy day today. I haven’t been feeling particularly grabs, so we spent the day having cuddles on my heated throw. He loves the heated throw and has spent most of the afternoon draped across my legs.

He is so classy!

When Jay messaged me to say he was on his way home at the end of the day, I went and got Dembe’s car harness from the peg. Dembe ran across the lounge, jumped onto the sofa, in position for me to pop it on. He is a nightmare when Jay tries to put his harness on but for me he is an angel. Once the harness is on though all hell breaks loose as then he goes crazy with excitement and starts leaping from one sofa to another. His feet just don’t touch the floor.

This evening he had his first encounter with a spider- YUCK. He didn’t know what to make of it but he decided he would try to catch it and eat it. The spider scrunched itself up in a ball and lived to fight another day, As soon as it appeared dead DEmbe lost interest.

Thursday 5th September

Thankfully I was feeling a lot better today than I had been over the previous few days. It always amazes me how Dembe tempers his activity levels to how I am feeling. Take yesterday and Monday, I really felt rough . Dembe was content just to spend the day cuddling on the sofa. No constant demand to play with toys or throw a ball. He slept and just wanted me to make a fuss of him. Today I am feeling so much better and he is a crazy loon, charging about like a nutter. Also on the constant scrounge for food!

Everything was going so well until the early afternoon when my back went into spasm and I couldn’t move my arms. Dembe immediately stopped being a nutter and dropped his energy levels right down. For a pup that isn’t even 10 months old yet I think that is pretty incredible. He is such a special boy.

My back eased up late in the afternoon after copious amounts of pain relief. Dembe knew I still wasn’t 100% and rather than reverting to being a loon he just followed me around the house always ensuring I was never alone. As a reward for him behaving so beautifully this week in the evening we had a play on the floor in the lounge.

Friday 6th September

Its FRI-YAY!

Jay was on a late night so he took Dembe out for a walk at around 7am. The little bugger still puts up a fight or just point blank refuses to leave the house or car if he is taken out before 7am. He had a lovely run around Jay threw his rugby ball for him loads as they didn’t meet any dogs on their walk.

Dembe took ages to settle after going out for his walk this morning. He was still on a high grabbing toys out of his toy box and making a mess until 10.30am when he finally had some sleep.

Our friend Sandra popped over at midday. Dembe hasn’t seen Auntie Sandra for months due to holidays, a broken lag and an operation. She has had a really rough summer. Dembe is being quite funny with strangers or people he hasn’t seen for a little while, so he got all shy and hid behind my legs. He is definitely in a different brain development period. Dembe was fine once I gave Sandra some cocktail sausages to feed him.

After Sandra left Dembe went to sleep for the rest of the afternoon, which allowed me to crack on with some bits that I wanted to get out of the way.

He didn’t pine for Jay tonight thank goodness but just settled down and went to sleep. The last few times Jay has been on a late night he has sat downstairs by the front door waiting for him to get home.

Saturday 7th September

DEmbe was up at 5.10am for breakfast and Jay decided to stay up. As they were both up so early Jay took Dembe out at 7am to the Model airfield. Poor DEmbe was bullies by three Westies who were refusing to let him pass under the bar gate. Dembe didn’t know what to do as he had never come across some grumpy dogs before. The Westies owners moved them out of the way and told them off for being so bossy to a young pup.

The spider I thought Dembe had possibly eaten the other night made another appearance, either that or it was his twin brother. Dembe tried to eat it again, the spider was too quick and escaped. I helped it on its way.

My dad popped in at lunch time as he was dropping over a pair of pliers to me and picking up my mums birthday present. Dembe gets really over excited when he see’s my dad. I have no clue why. Jay was also here having lunch. After there visit we had a sit down as I wasn’t feeling very well I could tell my blood pressure was low. Dembe just settled right down, whilst I recovered.

I felt a bit better after some fluids and my medication so I cracked on with getting my prototype bags finished. Jay messaged me as he was leaving work and I got Dembe’s harness on. He went a bit crazy as he was so looking forward to his walk and daddy coming home.

Sunday 8th September

I woke up due to Dembe staring at me, it was 5.10am and he obviously wanted his breakfast. He had his scram and then came back up to bed. We then slept until 7am. When Dembe decided we all needed to get up as he wanted a walk. Jay had a coffee first and then took him to Woodbury Castle where he met his girlfriends the Bulldogs Milly and Mandy. Their owners were really shocked with how much Dembe has grown since they last saw him. They had a good game of kiss chase with the girls stealing his ball as always.

This morning we took Dembe over to Pets at Home and with us then to Tesco whilst me and Jay upgraded our mobile phones. He was a bit naughty in pets at home nothing major. At Tesco before we went in we put his yellow coat on to identify he is an assistance dog in training and he was an absolute angel. Its like he knows when that coat is on he has to behave. He was brilliant we were there for about an hour and he just lay on the floor or sat down. He did bark a couple of times – he really doesn’t like people staring at him! But there was no messing about, crying or just being a pain in the bum. We were both extremely proud of him.

Week Commencing 26th August 2019

Monday 26th August

It is a bank holiday here in the UK so if Jay wasn’t on holiday he wouldn’t have been in work anyway. The weather is scorchio. Jay took Dembe out early and they went to the model airfield. They bumped into a black Labrador called Ruby who was 11 months old. Dembe and Ruby had a wonderful time playing chase. That seems to be a Labradors favourite game. Ruby’s owner was so impressed with how Dembe walked on his lead he asked Jay for advice as his girl Ruby pulls like a train in her harness. It makes us both chuckle when people ask Jay for advice as we only went to the training classes as he was struggling with training Dembe and needed some guidance.

We had the same problem with Dembe when he was wearing a harness and if you think about it harnesses are designed to allow animals to pull loads. So it is no wonder some of them make it a lot easier for them to do that. We have been using a slip lead since the 5th June and it has totally transformed our walks. Jay recommended a slip lead but introducing it slowly as many dogs hate having it over their nose. I did lots of training with Dembe to get him use to it. Jay also recommended our training classes, saying how much they all helped. The most important thing is consistency though. You can’t expect a dog to get something after an hours class and then continue to do it forever. It takes practice and doing this on a regular basis forever. This is where a lot of people fall down they don’t put the work in and then are so surprised when the dog doesn’t do what it learnt.

We spent the afternoon on and off in the garden playing with the ball and the paddling pool. Dembe nearly had me off the garden chair when we were playing tug, he is so strong.

Dembe decided to sleep downstairs this evening which would have been ok had he not decided to go on the window sill and bark at everything that went past. Jay had to go downstairs and bring him back up to bed. He settled next to me on his cooling mat.

Tuesday 27th August

Dembe woke me up crying really loudly at 5.30am for his breakfast. When I came up after breakfast he settled down quickly although I did have give verbal appreciation of his blue dinosaur.

I woke up at 6.40am and Dembe was still up with me. Every morning as soon as I stur I hear the thump, thump, thump of Dembe’s tail. He is just so gorgeous.

Jay took Dembe out to Woodbury Common, it was very drizzly but luckily as they went through the woods, so they weren’t too wet. I had the doctors at 9am, so Jay and Dembe came with me . I went into the doctors by myself, so Jay toon Dembe on a wander around the town. Dembe has decided that he doesn’t like rollators and zimmer frames and decided to bark at those. At the moment he keeps getting scared of stuff he has seen infrequently. Jay took him into the indoor market where they went to the pet shop, where Dembe got to pick out a toy. The pet-shop owner treated Dembe to a sausage which he heartily enjoyed.

Dembe loves his new puppy dog (toy) when we gave it to him at home he ran upstairs with it and hid in my room!

This afternoon we went up to Woodbury common for a walk

After our walk we visited Pets at Home and got Dembe some toys ( another 2) he loved Pats at home and was sniffing madly everywhere. He did get annoyed that he couldn’t get into the food bins!

Every evening Dembe and I engage in the pillow wars. He hogs my pillow as I get ready for bed. I then have to persuade him to move.

Wednesday 28th August

Jay got Dembe out early as the weather was a bit grim, the airfield was deserted, so Dembe had lots of fun with his daddy instead. Jay has been practicing recall, as unfortunately Jay had got into the habit of not bringing treats with him on a walk so now Dembe wasn’t responding to recall. A silly basic error that we have now been working on all week to put right ahead of our training sessions that start again next month. Dembe is already coming back now he knows that there is food involved again. Like all of us Dembe simply refuses to work for nothing!

Today our friends Mike and Eileen visited from Southampton. They were meeting Dembe for the first time today. They spoiled him rotten, bringing all his favourite treats. He was instantly enamoured with them. He covered Mike in kisses and was playing with Eileen. Just as they were leaving Dembe got up on the sofa pinned Eileen down and smothered her in kisses. She was squealing which made him kiss more. It was hilarious. Dembe is such a kissy dog, I thought Frankie was kissy but he had nothing on Dembe. I got Dembe to retrieve Crocodile from his toy box to show off his skills whilst they were here.

Dembe didn’t sleep all day. Around 40 minutes after Mike and Eileen left he collapsed and went to sleep. He is such a FOMO – fear of missing out and won’t go to sleep when we have visitors. He has to know what is going on at all times. He was so knackered that when Jay went out for a few hours in the evening Dembe didn’t wait downstairs but came up to bed with me. He did bark like crazy when Jay got in.

Thursday 29th August

Dembe was up the common nice and early as our hairdresser was coming over today to both mine and Jays hair. He met a cocker spaniel called Sam who is 20 months old and they had a manic run around. When Dembe got home he was still full of beans. I really don’t know where he gets his energy from a lot of the time.

Dembe was funny whilst I was getting my hair cut. He went out into the garden and brought in every toy he has and dropped it at Rachel’s feet, trying to get her to play. He was getting very frustrated that she wouldn’t stop doing my hair and just play with him.

He also kept standing outside the kitchen door looking in forlornly. He was very good, he didn’t try and eat the hair on the floor which is what he normally does when my hair has been cut.

I was in a lot of pain after having my hair done so took it easy for the rest of the day.

Friday 30th August

We give Dembe a frozen Kong everyday when the cleaning is done. He loves it. Normally he eats it up on my bed but today he brought it downstairs

In the afternoon we took Dembe up to Woodbury Common

Dembe was shattered after our walk. We came home and gave him his dinner, around an hour later we then went up to my parents caravan and saw them. Dembe had a mental run around with his mate Maggie.

Saturday 31st August

Dembe was a really sleepy boy all day. I cracked on with some sewing whilst Jay played on his PS4. Dembe slept on Jays legs. After his walk in the afternoon we took him up to my parents van again where he got to have a mad run around with his mate Maggie.

I did take this cracking shot of him

Sunday 1st September

How the hell is it September already??

Jay took Dembe out nice and early this morning as I was stuck in bed with a migraine. He took these shots of Dembe whilst they were out.

When Dembe got home he raced upstairs and covered me in kisses. He always likes to find me in the house when he gets back from a walk. He is very much like Frankie in that respect. Frankie always had to find me when he got home and wouldn’t settle until he did, none of the other dogs were that bothered. It is nice that Frankie and Dembe share that.

W/C 19th August 2019

Monday 19th August

Dembe was a very sleepy boy today. We seem to have days where he is manic and days where he sleeps all day long. He either likes to sleep on me / next to me or on the small sofa in the lounge, scooched up on cushions.

For some reason today Dembe wanted to bark at everything, no idea what was bothering him but every little noise he heard that came from outside was being barked at. Noises like kids playing, neighbours talking, cars driving past were being barked at . He was even running upstairs and barking out of Jays bedroom window which is something Mollie used to do. It was very strange. He also spent a lot of time in his favourite place on the window ledge.

We did have lots of cuddles which was gorgeous. I managed to capture this photo and I realised how much it looked like a photo I took 9 months ago when he was 9 weeks old.

When we got back from taking Dembe out for his walk this evening we came across a curled up hedgehog on our front garden. We managed to get Dembe inside without seeing it.

We took him across the road to my neighbours house as their garden although enclosed backs on to a lane where it would be safer and more full of food sources for him / her. I checked him over and there were no parasites or open wounds.

Tuesday 20th August

Dembe didn’t wake up until 5.30am for his breakfast, Jay was so out of it when I woke him he started having a go at me for letting him oversleep by an hour. I didn’t say anything as I knew he was still half asleep. He had woken up thinking it was Monday. He did apologise later and said he had got confused and was convinced he was going to be late for work.

When Dembe woke up for the second time he was determined to have all the pack together, so he went into Jays room to wake him up.

A friends husband popped up today to borrow my wheelchair for his wife Julie. She is recovering from a huge operation on her ankle and can’t weight bare at all at the moment. Get well soon Julie. Dembe was really shy with Nigel to begin with, we think it is because we don’t have many male visitors to the house and not ones he doesn’t know. Dembe kept running over to me and standing over me. We haven’t seen him act like that before ( but with the barking yesterday he seems a bit out of sorts) . By the time Nigel left, Dembe adored him and was playing tug, ball and kissing Nigel. It was very sweet. After Nigel left Dembe was shattered.

We had a lovely walk together in the afternoon, we went out longer than normal which was good fun, although my mobility scooter really didn’t like the gradient. Dembe led the way all the way around our little circuit. He went straight to sleep when we got in and we had to wake him up for dinner.

We needn’t have worried about him being so tired as he got a second wind about two hours later and we were playing out in the garden with him.

Wednesday 21st August

Dembe had breakfast at 5am, Dembe had been stirring for a while. Jay decided to stay up as he was taking Dembe out for a walk before work. Either Dembe settled or I was so knackered that I went back to sleep and I didn’t wake up until they got back from their walk at the model airfield.

As Dembe hates going out for an early walk Jay had to bribe him with two cocktail sausages to get him out of the front door. He really isn’t a morning dog! Just as well Jay went out early, as part way through the walk he got a call to ask him to go in earlier. Good for us as it means he will be home earlier .

Dembe is following around the house, to the point I am tripping up on him. I am really suffering bad headaches at the moment due to my neck coming out of alignment when I sleep and I am sure Dembe is picking up on the fact it makes me feel so rotten.

He was again on the window ledge watching the world go by!

Uncle Paul popped over today to collect a parcel that I had delivered here for him. Dembe was over excited, he just loves Paul so much he gets silly. He embarrassed himself as he knocked Paul’s coffee into his lap ( thank god it didn’t burn him) as he brought his football over for Paul to throw for him but barged into him. I could have died. Paul took it in his stride and said it didn’t matter. I really wish that Dembe didn’t get so excited when he see’s some people as he then ends up behaving like a hooligan until he calms down.

I managed to finish the quilting on my quilt today. It still needs bound but the hardest part is done. Dembe has been so well behaved whilst I have done this and just entertained himself or slept whilst I worked on it.

Thursday 22nd August

Oh my days my head is even worse today. I am having to wear my soft collar a lot of the time to keep the pressure off my neck. Dembe is being very good and looking after me. Jay is on a late night so got Dembe out nice and early for a good walk.

He has been on the window sill every day this week, at least twice a day. He loves it there.

I went up to bed at 7pm but Dembe wouldn’t come up with me. He has started waiting for Jay to come home so refuses to move away from the small sofa by the front door. He won’t come up to bed now until Jay gets home after 10pm. I hate it as Frankie and Mollie always used to come up to bed with me, it feels weird being in bed by myself. Willow would always wait for her dad so would sleep on the landing or half way down the stairs so she could see him get in before everyone else. He only started doing this last week. I had hoped it was a one off. I hope at some point he decides to stay with me until his daddy gets in. But I won’t force him to stay upstairs.

Friday 23rd August

Dembe woke me up at 6.30am by dropping a tennis ball on my face! Not even remotely funny, I haven’t had a great nights sleep and he has been crying trying to wake me up since he came back upstairs after his breakfast.

As Jay is on a 10-7 shift he got Dembe up the common quite early. He went to the model airfield again where they met another Labrador aged 17 months called Sid. They had a crazy time playing together, they played chase which is Dembe’s favourite. By the time he got home he was hot and knackered.

We have been messing around today having cuddles on the bed. My head yest again is crap so I have been lying down on and off trying to ease the feeling of pressure at the base of my skull. During one of these play periods Dembe has managed to scratch my arm with his dew claw. My skin is very fragile due to Ehlers Danlos Syndrome so what would be a normal scratch on others is this on me

As the weather is really nice I got Dembe’s paddling pool out. He went crazy! I haven’t seen him like that since the garden was revamped and he got to play on it for the first time! He was running to the back of the garden and then leaping into the paddling pool. For his own safety in the end I had to turn the hosepipe off as I was terrified he was going to slip and then really injure himself. We still had fun out in the garden though. Just calmer fun. I also got his solar fountain out and had that running.

Saturday 24th August

This photo really made me laugh today

Especially when captioned with “Truth be told Dembe was never going to win the World Championship of Hide & Seek” or “has anyone seen Dembe? I can’t find him”. He is such a silly sausage sometimes all Jay and i can do is laugh at him.

My arm is looking a bit of a mess today as more of the bruising has come out. Thankfully it isn’t hurting anymore.

My head was muzzy again today so I have taken it quite easy, well as easy as I could manage. In the evening we went over to my parents van after Dembe had his walk. He had a good game of chase with Maggie going crazy and stealing her raw hide again.

Sunday 25th August

Dembe having a snooze after his walk up the common with daddy this morning. Today they went to Woodbury castle but as it was early and very misty they didn’t see another soul the whole time they were out.

As I am writing up this week’s diary entries into his Blog, Dembe has got on the window sill and is watching me work. He likes lying so that his nose is almost touching my shoulder. He looks like he is reading what I am writing!

Jay is on holiday now for a week so we shall be spending lots of time together, which Dembe will love. He loves his pack being all together,

W/C 29th July 2019

Monday 29th July

We have had a quiet day today, Jay was on an early as usual for Monday. I spent a lot of the day wrestling a pair of curtains. It started off as a small job and just got bigger and bigger. Poor Dembe had to entertain himself for a lot of the day. When I am sewing he either goes out in the gazebo or lies on his bed in the kitchen. Occasionally he will lie on the sofa in the lounge.

Jay came home for lunch and spent ages cuddling Dembe. Dembe loves his daddy coming home part way through the day and goes crazy for a bit. He usually runs and get whatever toy is flavour of the week and brings it in for you to see. At the moment it is his huge football from the garden.

Dembe’s new bed came yesterday and he is loving it. It is huge and if he lies on his side he fits inside the bed still rather than hanging over the edge and being arse end in the bed head end on the floor.

He is really enjoying his yak chews which for some reason have to be eaten messily in my bedroom which is why there are no photos of his new bed as the bloody Yak chew bits go everywhere. Poor Jay has had to hoover to my bedroom carpet everyday this week.

As you can see from Dembe’s he wasn’t impressed the curtain took so long for mum to fix ( had to remove a damaged section and alter the length )

As I am pleased with the job I did with the curtains I thought I would share, it is the first time I have tackled curtains. So despite Dembe being pissed off with me it was a productive day!

Tuesday 30th July

Dembe woke me up at 6.30am, the minute I was downstairs he started his campaign to get his dad out of bed. Jay sent me these photos he took of Dembe.

He did sleep for a bit and then decided he was bored with that and licked Jays head and face to ensure he was awake!

He got Dembe out early as it was obvious that he needed and wanted a good run around. He took him up to the model airfield and ran into a German Shepard called Rhea who was in our Obedience Training Class. They were really lucky as they managed to stay dry on the walk. It was only when they got home the heavens opened and it seemed to pour down for the rest of the day. Never seen rain like it.

I had physio at 11.45am so Jay took Dembe up the common again for a walk and explore. It was raining a little by the time they got back to the car but again they had been really lucky with the weather.

Having two walks close together wiped Dembe out.

Wednesday 31st July

Jay was late night so he took Dembe out for a nice early walk, despite this he was pretty manic all morning throwing crocodile around the lounge.

In the afternoon I put my quilt top together – I have been working on a scrap busting quilt for the last couple of weeks. Dembe went out in the gazebo onto the bench to keep an eye on me.

He likes sleeping there when I am working in the kitchen as he can see me whenever he opens his eyes and he can hear when I move. He has done this ever since he was big enough to climb up there.

When I finished sewing the quilt top together I managed to nip out between the showers and get a photo of it hanging on the washing line. Dembe “Lab” tested it!

Thursday 1st August

Can you believe it is August already?? how did that happen?

This morning Dembe and I looked after Maggie my parents dog whilst they went out shopping. Initially Dembe was massively over excited, I think it is only about the 4th time there has been another dog in the house. Plus Maggie is his zoomie mate from the caravan so he thought they would be running about the house. Not a chance mate!

In Dembe’s excitement he managed to tip up the water bowl I had put on the floor for Maggie to drink from as Dembe now uses the Weims old raised water bowl as he prefers it. It is amazing how far such a small amount of water can travel.

Eventually they both did settle

Maggie beside me on the sofa
Dembe trying to get up on my lap

As you can see from his face he is still at the over excited phase. He has also been outside playing in his paddling pool.

Finally clam at last!
Maggie asleep one side of me
Dembe asleep the other side of me

The last two photos show when they went to sleep one either side of me. It was quite weird having two dogs in the house after having just one since January 11th. Instead of one set of doggie footsteps following me everywhere there were two. And Maggie has an even worse concept of personal space than Dembe.

When my parents came back to collect Maggie, Dembe thought it would be a good idea to jump up on the sofa between them and try to lick my mums ear. It was hilarious hearing her squeal moving her head away. The more she squealed the more Dembe’s tail wagged. You could hear it thump against the sofa. I can’t get over how thick Dembe’s tail is. He likes sleeping with his tail draped over my eyes, so I have a kind of doggy eye mask.

Unfortunately on Thursday I had woken up with a bit of a headache as my neck was out of alignment. As the day progressed the pain just got worse and worse to the point where I just wanted to puke. I ended up going to bed in the afternoon, Dembe came with me and slept on my shoulder as he tends to do when I am not feeling well. He doesn’t move for hours. It is oddly comforting feeling him breathing and resting his head against me like this.

He is such an affectionate boy and very in tune with both Jay and I.

knackered after Maggie’s visit

He was desperate for Jay to come home this evening. From around 5pm he was pacing waiting for him but it was a long wait as Jay didn’t finish until 7pm. Dembe was waiting at the window for him.

Friday 2nd August

Dembe is 38 weeks old today and I can’t believe how big he is getting. Saying that he is still wee compared to the Weimaraners. His head shape is still to change to look like a proper grown up Labrador. He is such an affectionate dog, I can’t leave the room without him following me bless him.

He has got much better at leaving me alone when I am doing my physiotherapy exercises / pilates. When he was a tiny pup lying down was an invitation to be used as a climbing frame. He now understands to leave me alone until I am finished although he likes to keep a watchful eye on me still.

He was shattered today after all the excitement of having his mate Maggie here yesterday.

It was such a lovely day weather wise today so we spent quite a bit of the afternoon playing outside with the paddling pool and with some bubbles.

It was quite difficult to film / take photos whilst blowing bubbles!

He had a wonderful time playing outside.

Saturday 3rd July

He has been equally sleepy and bouncy today. As you can see the leather football is in the house again! Brought to show me what a clever boy he is. Cuddles a plenty.

Uncle Paul came over this afternoon to dig a hole to put our very pot bound Yucca in the ground. Dembe loves his Uncle Paul and always goes crazy when he see’s him. He tried to jump on Paul’s lap. He was very interested in what Paul was doing.

What a cracking job Paul did, I just hope Dembe leaves it alone whilst it gets used to spreading its roots now after 15 years in a plant pot. It was about 12 inches tall when I bought it and its the only plant that I have managed to keep alive in all that time.

I found out something really cute this week on social media. The white patches that Dembe has on his shoulder blades are referred to as Angel Wings. Isn’t that just the sweetest thing. Here is a good shot of them

The angel wing marking is really common in the reddish yellow Labradors. Until we had Dembe I was under the impression that Labradors were uniform in colour. However Dembe has shown me that isn’t the case, he has a white blaze on his chest, his chest / belly are really light blonde. He has patches of blonde hair with darker fox red patches. As he has got older he has got darker.

Sunday 4th July

After removing a great deal of earth from the garden to plant the Yucca, Jay had to do something with it. So we decided he could use it to level out the left hand side of the garden. Unfortunately Dembe decided to be a pain in the bum and continually get involved in what Jay was doing so I was deployed to distract him.

Quite often Dembe will walk at=round the house with two toys or two balls in his mouth this is the first time I have been able to photograph him doing it. After being a bugger he has come inside and gone straight to sleep beside me on the sofa!

Week Commencing 15th July 2019

Monday 15th July

As usual for Monday Dembe and I were left to our own devices as Jay was on an early. As I caught up with The Handmaids Tale from Sunday night, Dembe amused himself.

I managed to get a bit of sewing done. Dembe tried to run off with a strip of fabric that I was working on. Joining 2 inch wide strips of fabric into one giant length. He picked up the end that was on the floor, the top of it being under the presser foot of my sewing machine. He is a right little tea leaf, I have found pin cushions ( thankfully no pins), my quilting gloves, stabiliser for embroidery and one of my bras on his chair in the garden!

We all went up to Woodbury common when Jay was home from work. I used my scooter up there, as I have mobility issues. It was the first time I have been up there on it with Dembe off the lead. I have always been nervous before that I would run him over. However he was brilliant. He kept well away from the wheels and only approached me when I was at a standstill. Every time I stopped he jumped up on my lap!

Tuesday 16th July

Dembe is 8 months old today, how quickly those months have gone by. It means we have owned him for 6 months. We can’t imagine life without him.

We took Dembe to the Doctors surgery today as I had an appointment with one of the gp’s. You can read about our experience here – https://wp.me/p4zBAs-yp. I don’t want to fill Dembe’s blog up with such a negative experience that I am still cross about. He was a good boy it is a shame the doctor wasn’t on her best behaviour.

The receptionist thought Dembe was wonderful as did the many patients who he met in the waiting room. He made an old chap’s day as he allowed him to fus him and had a long chat with Jamie about dogs. It was clear this old guy hadn’t spoken to anyone for ages and was head over heels for Dembe. We were so pleased with how he behaved that we are considering getting him registered as a PAT dog ( Pets as therapy) where he visits hospitals and hospices and just spreads some love.

We had a wonderful walk on the common this afternoon, I went up on my scooter again as this area was much flatter . We even had a chinook fly over the top of us and Dembe didn’t bat an eyelid.

Wednesday 17th July

Dembe is a very tired boy today. He has slept most of the day away.

He was only happy today as long as he was in the same room as me at all times. I tried a bit of training with him with the light pull today but he flatly refused to put it in his mouth. He was quite happy to touch it with his nose but not the mouth!

He had a nice walk with Jay on the common after work this evening.

Thursday 18th July

Due to Dembe sleeping all day yesterday he was an utter maniac today.

I was sorting through the dirty laundry seperating colours from whites / lights I looked up and out into the garden to find him outside with my bra ( second time this week) and my tropic bamboo washcloth! He does this in a blink of an eye. In the house his stolen items always end up on my bed or beside it. Usually Jays socks and pants. When he takes stuff into the garden he likes to take it to his favourite chair. I had to go and rescue them both.

As he was so crazy I did some training exercises with him, I have found he gets crazy when he needs mental stimulation and he loves doing some tasks and they calm him down. So we worked on stay training, I managed to get 2 metres away and him staying in a lying down position for 30 seconds. I didn’t push it as I know he can get frustrated easily, especially when he can’t fathom the point of it. I also managed to get him to lie down without having to point to the floor ( in the past even touch the floor to get him to do it). We did a few cycles of training over the hour and he calmed right down as he had been mentally stimulated – and had mummy’s undivided attention.

We treated Dembe to a tin of sardines tonight with his dinner. He loves Sardines but oh my they are smelly. We give him sardines in tomato sauce as he doesn’t need the extra oil or brine. His breath stinks for hours after LOL

We won £128 on the lottery last night – I found out this morning so I bought him a Trixie Poker Box 1. An brain training activity for him. I can’t wait for it to arrive.

Photo taken by Jamie
photo taken by Jamie
photo taken by Jamie

Friday 19th July

Dembe is 36 weeks today!

Jay is on a 9-6 today so Dembe got out for a walk by around 7.20am just as well because crocodile was being thrown around the lounge from before 7am.

I wasn’t expecting it but Dembe’s Poker box arrived today, so that was a lovely surprise. He was immediately inquisitive.

The light is terrible in the house today as it is pouring with rain and looks more like a November day than the height of summer. So you will have to excuse the lack of photos etc today.

Dembe worked out in a few minutes how to open the box that has a flip lid. He took a bit longer with the lid that has the red handle on. Instead of grabbing it with his mouth he nudges it with his nose. He is dead proud of himself when he gets the treat out of the bos. I think it will take a bit longer to get him to take the lid off with the string handle and pull the drawer open but I didn’t want a toy that he could master in a day as that would be a complete waste of money. He is funny though as he goes over and checks it at least once an hour just to see if any new treats have been deposited. The flip top lid is always open as he does that one so easily!

He had a lovely play on the common this evening he met a one year old Cairn terrier called Poppy. As Dembe is so used to his best mate Maggie chasing him when we visit my parents he now thinks that is the job of all small dogs and poppy was only too happy to oblige! He got back to the car exhausted.

I posted this photo on Instagram and then got instantly mummy shamed for the fact he isn’t in a crate in the boot of the car and not wearing a harness. Firstly he can’t go in the back of the car as my scooter is in there. I have problems walking, even a fold down scooter is bulky. We now own a 7 seater car so even with that boot space there. is no room. Especially if I have my fixed frame wheelchair in there. He isn’t wearing a harness currently as we haven’t been able to find one that fits him properly. They are usually too tight on his neck and too wide on the body.

However I did appreciate that the person was acting out of concern and she was right in the fact if we were involved in a crash all the force would be taken through his neck. What I didn’t appreciate was the fact she did it publicly as a shaming act. There was nothing stopping her private messaging me, that is what I took offence to. After doing some research on the internet I found a harness that doesn’t break the bank and has been crash tested unlike the majority of harnesses on the market. Having taken his measurements this one should fit him well.

I don’t agree with putting dogs in the boots of car’s unless it is strictly necessary. The boot of the car is the crush zone, it is designed to crush like a concertina, crate or no crate a dog could be killed if you were ploughed into from behind. What she couldn’t see from the photo is that we have a safety net between the front seats and the rear seats so he can’t be catapulted forward between seats, plus the seat belt attachment he has on means he can’t move to between the seats. I do take her point on his neck being at risk which is why the harness is arriving today.

So I have had my first experience of being mummy shamed! It’s been a long time coming. It’s hilarious as normally people try to shame me over my sewing machines / embroidery machines or my Emma Bridgewater pottery collection.

Saturday 20th July

Oh my word Dembe is a demon child this morning. He woke me up by crying at 05.8am as he wanted his breakfast, Jay has worked a lot of earlies this week which means he gets his breakfast at 4.30am, so now he was up and hungry. He had his breakfast but the little blonde bastard wouldn’t settle. He made it quite clear one of us needed to get up. As Jay will be working until 10pm tonight I thought it had better be me. I gave up at 6.20am. My back was killing me as well so it suited me.

Every toy was out of the box by the time Jay got up at 7.30am, by 8am it was clear Dembe needed a walk as he just wouldn’t settle. However even after his walk he was being a pain in the bum finally going to sleep at 10am

He is now tucked up beside me out for the count as I transfer from his paper diary to his blog this weeks events!

Dembe’s new chews arrived today, I got him some Yak chews after seeing them recommended on various Labrador groups on Facebook. I think he likes it, I haven’t seen him for close to an hour now as he is having a good chomp. I saw him briefly and despite all that chewing there was barely a dent on the chew. He is carrying it around constantly like it is his most prized possession .

Dembe’s new harness arrived today it is called The Slow Ton harness and is one of the few on sale in the UK that have been crash tested. It fits him really well. If anyone is interested they are available from Amazon.

Sunday 21st July

I have no clue as to what is going on with Dembe at the moment but he is insisting the whole household is up and downstairs before 7am. After having a few weeks of being “allowed” to sleep on until 7.20am this is killing me. He basically sits on the bed and cries until you get up. It doesn’t matter if you stroke him he continues to cry. He has always been a whinger and thankfully I have seen on a Facebook Labrador book that this unfortunately is quite common. Before I have always panicked that he is in pain etc so rush to him to check him over. It turns out it is just he wants attention because he has been deprived of attention for a whole two minutes!

As he was so bouncy Jay took him out before 7.30am. He gave him a nice walk on what we call old common, which is called old common by us as that is the place on the common we have known the longest. He has finally settled in his bed and is fast asleep.

He has lost his Yak chew somewhere in my room. The carpet looks like someone has really bad dandruff as it has got all the tiny flakes of Yak chew all over it. At least it doesn’t smell bad just smokey.

It got really warm this afternoon, before we took him out for a walk Dembe and I were messing about on my bed, playing with toys and having a cuddle. He still likes having a cuddle during the day whenever he can.

Every time I see this photo it makes me laugh. He looks like he has taken the selfie and I have photobombed him! The look in his eye says I’m with the crazy lady!

A tiny little video from up on the common –

Dembe in his new car safety harness